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Best irons in golf of 2021: Most technology packed

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you, the reader, determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

  • Overall performance
  • Easiest to launch
  • Pure Enjoyment
  • Shotmakers
  • Best blade

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

Best Irons 2021_Most Technology Packed

2021 best irons: Technology packed

This is the “give me everything you got” list. These irons are the cream of the crop for offering technology to improve feel, distance, and ball speed. The great thing about the technology category is it’s not reserved for higher handicap golfers—it’s for anyone looking to get everything they can out of their game in an iron that also suits their eye.

Callaway Apex 21

Their story: The new 2021 Callaway Apex Forged irons were created with one goal in mind: optimization, not only through the set but into each specific iron. For the first time, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving.

In this newest iteration of the Apex iron, the focus was on control and “spin robustness,” which is another way to say spin optimization. Callaway was able to not only increase ball speeds and forgiveness across the face but with a new weighting configuration, also able to control and optimize spin. Each iron face is tuned to complement the loft (i.e. long irons = high launch/low spin, mid irons = mid launch/mid spin, short irons = lower launch/higher spin).

From the fitters

  • The Callaway Apex irons have been a staple in fittings since they were originally released, and golfers of all abilities can get a lot out of these irons.
  • For the 2021 version, Callaway really stepped their game up by improving the appearance, feel, and overall performance of this iron and truly packed it with technology. For its shape and size, it’s pretty amazing what they have done with this club—and the results show up in our fittings.
  • Not only is the Apex great, but it’s also a great foundation to build a set with other irons in the line including the DCB and the Apex Pro. If you are looking at the Apex, make sure to at least consider building a combo set.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Cobra King RadSpeed

Their story: The Cobra RadSpeed irons are packed with technology. They use a 3D-printed medallion comprised of nylon to increase strength while also reducing weight in the middle of the head to improve forgiveness, and just like the RadSpeed driver, the irons derive their name from newly positioned weights around the radius of the iron head designed to increase stability. By placing weight on the extreme perimeter of the head (away from the center of gravity), Cobra can both lower the CG and make the club slightly more compact while not sacrificing forgiveness.

The 7-4 iron faces also have what Cobra calls PWRShell technology, which used forged high-strength 17-4 stainless steel to increase compliance—a fancy physics term for an object’s ability to flex, which in turn increases the ball speed retention around the face to create a larger area of maximum energy transfer.

From the fitters

  • The RadSpeed is beyond easy to launch and very forgiving. I don’t think Cobra gets enough credit for how much technology they pack into their game improvement irons, and the innovations they bring to the marketplace.
  • This has been our top game improvement iron this year. It’s the highest launching and longest distance iron we have tested, and beyond that, it feels really good too.
  • I hate to make bad puns but the RadsSeed truly is “the king” right now when it comes to everything it offers to create performance for golfers.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Callaway Apex DCB

Their story: The 2021 Apex DCB is Callaway’s most forgiving forging ever. It is specifically designed for the golfers who want the full Apex Forged experience but with a bit more forgiveness.

Just like its smaller cousin the Apex, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications, created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving. The iron offers more offset, a thicker topline, a wider sole, and a longer blade length—all with the goal of creating higher launch and top-end forgiveness.

From the fitters

  • This iron is a little rocket ship. The ball flies high, goes long, and comes off with a lot of speed—even when mis-hit.
  • You are going to have a hard time beating this iron when it comes to forgiveness. Good hits are fantastic, and misses are still great with this iron.
  • The sound is solid and the feel is pleasing. It has a much thinner look with a classic shape than I think many people expect from an iron built to maximize forgiveness. Callaway has a winner here.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Srixon ZX5

Their story:  The Srixon ZX5 iron uses what the company calls Mainframe face to optimize each club through the set based on tested strike patterns and was refined using machine learning. The face is composed of varying thickness patterns, which are all individually milled into the rear to expand the COR. The irons combine this Mainframe face made of strong and elastic SUP10 steel to the iron’s forged 1020 body to provide feel and elasticity, resulting in ball speed in an iron that appeals to a large group of golfers.

The ZX5 irons offer an extremely clean look from address, and the topline profile matches closely to the popular ZX7—square and sharp! Not only that but the blade lengths and sole widths have all been finely tuned so golfers who plan to build combo sets will see a smooth transition from one iron to the next—even into the utility.

From the fitters

  • The ZX5 is very playable and extremely good-looking. The cambered VT sole results in lovely turf interaction no matter the attack angle of the player—it’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife.
  • This iron fits a wide range of handicaps even though it looks a bit more like a players club. This iron is a chameleon because it has the look of a smaller compact club yet offers the forgiveness associated with a larger one (chef’s kiss).
  • We have been blown away by the ZX5. For the size, it sounds and looks great and has top-end ball speeds. It is our top-fitted forged cavity back iron across the board.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

TaylorMade P770

Their story: The TaylorMade P770 irons bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

The iron has a SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body, and a Thru Slot to help the mishits lower on the face retain ball speed in the 3-7 irons. Those same irons (3-7) have 46 grams of tungsten positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.

From the fitters

  • Without a doubt, this is one of our top-selling irons. The P770 has been a go-to for a variety of golfers thanks to its easy-to-launch performance along with the distance it produces. 
  • Simply calling this iron a smaller P790 doesn’t do it justice. It has a really clean look on its own but also allows players to easily add extra forgiveness and speed to their long irons if they are combo-ing with another iron like the P7MC.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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Equipment

Best irons in golf of 2021: The shotmakers

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX, we believe it is important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

best-irons-in-golf-2021-the-shotmakers

2021 best irons: The shotmakers

Each one of these irons was designed with a single purpose: to provide the ultimate shotmaking weapon. You don’t have to be a tour player to appreciate the pleasure of hitting a well-struck shot with a club engineered to offer superior feedback. This category is all about control—and that doesn’t mean it “has to be a blade.”

TaylorMade P7MC

best irons 2021 taylormade p7mc

Their story: To build the TaylorMade P7MC irons, the manufacturing process incorporates a 2,000-ton pressure forging to ensure the feel and sound is dialed in. This iron is all business, and anyone comparing this to the smaller P7MB (blade) will notice its slightly longer heel-to-toe length, and just a touch more offset which makes it a great candidate for gapping.

It offers a crisp feel at impact and the workability of a blade iron, but in a platform that still offers forgiveness on shots hit outside of the middle. Looks, feel, and workability—it’s all here.

From the fitters

  • This iron is compact, clean, and offers a superb feel. The P7MC allows better players to have the confidence to hit the shots they want, while still having enough forgiveness hidden in the design to help with forgiveness.
  • It’s bare-bones clean and delivers exactly what you want and expect from a small forged cavity. I should also mention that it feels soooo good.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Srixon ZX7

best irons 2021 srixon zx7

Their story: The Srixon ZX7 provides a compact squared-off blade profile with a thin topline to frame the ball and inspire confidence for those who prefer workability over maximum forgiveness. The “tour cavity” construction places mass where it’s needed for feel and acoustics while removing it from other places around the cavity to increase stability in the small forged cavity back.

The other piece of technology, which Srixon is using to maximize performance, is tungsten in the toe of the mid and long irons to condense more mass towards the toe for extra stability without having to extend the blade length. Using tungsten isn’t new, but when the goal is to minimize size while maximizing stability, it’s a complete necessity at this point, and Srixon does a great job utilizing it in the irons.

From the fitters

  • You can call your shot and hit it with the ZX7, and even when you miss a bit we still see nice results. The camber built into the (VT) sole allows for great turf interaction and the ball comes off fast.
  • Even though the Srixon “7” iron has always done well, the ZX7 feels like a big next step in feel and performance.
  • Amazing players iron that offers more ball speed and forgiveness than a lot of other irons in this category. Thanks to the center of gravity and slightly stronger lofts, it’s a top choice for elite players who want distance and need to control spin.
  • This iron has replaced all other better player forged cavity back irons for looks and performance. I dare you to find a better performing forged cavity of its size.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Titleist T100

best irons 2021 titleist t100

Their story: Built from the ground up with direct input from Titleist’s PGA Tour staff, the mission statement from the design team for the T100 was to simply create “the best performing tour iron ever.” With a shape that is distinctly Titleist but completely redefined as far as offset, top line, sole width, camber, and blade length, the T100 gives players looking for a tour performance iron more playability than ever before.

The irons are co-forged with large amounts of tungsten (66 grams on average in the 3- 7-irons) in the heel and toe, and it looks a lot more like a single-piece forged player’s cavity back than a multi-piece forgiveness monster—but looks can be deceiving. It has the thinnest face Titleist has ever built into a true forged players club, which allows designers to push more mass around the head and create greater ball speed.

From the fitters

  • The T100 is a classic, clean-looking iron that packs a punch. From the address position, you would have no idea this iron has so much forgiveness packed into it.
  • This iron typically launches a little higher than some others in this category, which is great for lower ball flight players who are in need of more spin, and on the other side of things, there is the T100S model that delivers with less spin and a lower flight.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Callaway Apex MB

best irons 2021 callaway apex mb

Their story: The Callaway Apex MB is forged from 1025 carbon steel with a classic shape that is similar to other blade irons from Callaway’s past, but this time with a slightly narrower sole and less offset. Another improvement is the 20V grooves ensure optimal spin control in and out of the rough.

The centrally located weight screw in the back of the head allows Callaway builders to maintain the precise center of gravity locations when adding or removing weight from the irons—it’s not a new idea, but it’s one that is key to allowing the irons to be dialed into spec for each golfer.

From the fitters

  • In my opinion, the Apex MB is the best-looking blade on the market. It’s also very easy to work the ball in any direction you want.
  • The central weight screw for adjusting swing weight has been great this year for quality control and to fine-tune during fittings. Although not everyone is sensitive to swing weight, this feature allows us, and secondly the builders, to get things just right.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Mizuno JPX921 Tour

Their story:  The 921 Tour is about subtle refinements to deliver familiar performance with improved feel and looks. The iron is designed with the feel, flow, and performance of the MP series but with greater clubhead stability and a different player in mind. The MP could still be considered the “traditionalist” iron, whereas the JPX Tour caters to a more aggressive player needing a little bit extra help on occasion but still wanting a smaller-looking iron.

Mizuno’s Stability Frame design allows the 921 Tour to offer greater forgiveness (higher MOI) than the MP-20 MMC without the multi-material construction. The iron achieved flow from top to bottom by narrowing the soles in the shorter irons and ever-so-slightly increasing the width in the longer clubs—not something noticeable from address but a feature that helps with ball flight control and shotmaking.

From the fitters

  • The 921 Tour provides Mizuno MP looks and feel with a lot of extra stability. The satin chrome look has also been a massive hit with golfers who like a stealthy look over a shiny chrome.
  • First, it was the 900, and then the 919. Now with the 921 Tour, Mizuno has combined the best of both previous irons to create a stable yet workable tour-level iron.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

 

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Adam Scott gives in-depth breakdown of his WITB 

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Adam Scott has a new podcast, ‘FairGame’, where he discusses a range of topic related to the game of golf, and episode 4 features a video that is a gearheads’ dream, with Scott breaking down his 2021 Masters WITB in stunning detail.

You can check out the video below for Scott’s full breakdown at the end of the article. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Irons

Before the Masters, Adam Scott swapped his trusty Titleist 680 irons for the brand’s 620 irons which surprised many golf fans.

In the video, filmed after the Honda Classic, the Australian still has his 680 irons in the bag, suggesting that his decision to change for Augusta came very late. Scott explains that his choice to game the 680 irons consistently is an “aesthetic thing” and that he prefers the offset look of the 680s.

It’ll be interesting to see what irons Scott has in the bag the next time he tees it up, as he reveals he has talked to Titleist about “bending, offsetting to the 620s”.

Wedges

Adam Scott has a four wedge Vokey setup (48 degree PW, 52 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree).

His 48 degree 10F wedge, he describes as “your pretty standard” wedge and “nothing fancy happening on the sole”, while his 52 degree 12F wedge, Scott says has a little more bounce but a similar sole.

Scott says his 56 degree 10S wedge has a little relief in the back of the club to provide some versatility to manipulate the face, while his newest wedge is the 60 degree 12D wedge that the Australian says has a very strong grind on the sole.

Per Scott, this provides more forward bounce and it also has relief in the heel to open up the clubface and “take some of the bounce away from the heel.” The Aussie says he put the new wedge in the bag to keep the club more square.

Woods

Scott plays all of Titleist’s new TSi woods, which he put in the bag around September, and calls the clubs a “good improvement” on its predecessors. 

The 40-year-old initially played the TSi3 driver, then TSi4 and now plays the TSi2, which he says is “probably the most forgiving” of the family for tour pros.

Scott has the club at 9 degrees and in an A2 position (just upright, but standard loft) after playing around with the position a little bit, and he has settled on the Ventus Red shaft – which he enjoys for its soft profile so he can “feel” the shots.

On his TSi2 7-wood, Scott says it’s the first time he’s gamed a lofted wood since he was 14. The club is 21 degrees set at D1, making it “around 20.5 degrees”, says the Aussie, who loves that he can land the ball softly from the 240-yard range. The club is equipped with a 100g Graphite Design DI 10 X Flex shaft.

Putter

Scott says his current flat-stick is based on his 2013 Masters’ winning gamer. His Scotty Cameron Xperimental Rev X11 features a slightly smaller head than his putter from eight years ago, and Scott explains the reason for that is his putter length is 45 inches, 4 inches shorter than his 2013 putter.

The Aussie calls the putter, which he began using at Riviera this year, incredibly stable with a super high MOI and very forgiving.

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‘Best wedges you ever played: Then and Now’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been dishing on the best wedges they’ve ever played. WRXer ‘TheOtherTwo’ wants to know our members’ favorite old wedge and new and kicks off the thread with his picks: “1. Cleveland TA Reg 588 56*/14* 2. Miura Milled Tour 58*/10*”. Our members have been sharing their choices in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • mycale: “Artisans. The hype is real. Went from Clevelands to Mizunos to Artisans. I have never hit ANY club that felt as good as these wedges.”
  • dlygrisse: “1. Spalding Johnny Miller 56* finesse wedge. My first wedge that made me want to work on the short game. 2. Cleveland 588-It replaced the Spalding after I sadly lost it playing at dusk. 3. Vokey SM2. (the one with the red saw blade, right before the groove change) 58*.”
  • gsrjc: “Mizuno T4. Edel wedges.”
  • mogc60: “The original Cleveland RTG wedges were the best I ever used. Granted, I was my best then as well. Used those for about 12 years. Had backups in every loft.”

Entire Thread: “Best wedges you ever played: Then and Now”

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